In undertaking this study, EMF is attempting to establish a baseline for its feasibility analysis in the following areas (PLEASE NOTE: To the fullest extent possible the DP utilizes the information and data gathered by previous studies and partnering organizations to avoid duplication of efforts):

FINANCE: The study of existing funding methods and sources, both for-profit (individuals, corporations and distributors) and nonprofit (government and private foundations, NGOs, etc.), including:

  • Identifying the primary funding sources that are currently funding production of documentary films and nonfiction programming, and determining what viewership, markets and demographics they serve;
  • Identifying the secondary and ancillary funding sources that are currently funding the production of  documentary films and nonfiction programming, including, but not limited to the internet, on-demand pay TV, and DVD rental and sales, and what viewership, markets and demographics they serve;
  • Identifying new funding sources, not presently participating in funding or sponsoring documentary films and nonfiction programming, including surveying a representative sampling of S&P 500 firms and the largest privately held companies in the United States (not previously identified as active funders under Item #1 or #2 above) to access their potential. This will include interviewing marketing and advertising departments, and advertising and marketing companies that serve these companies;
  • Examining the requirements, restrictions and limitations of each funding source identified in #1 through #3 above, with attention to how it effects programming content and presentation, and to assess its future potential; and
  • Conducting polling and analyzing the obstacles and objections that each funding source or potential funding source currently perceives to be limiting the amount of funding they are offering or their participation in funding, in order to determine what changes might be proposed to increase their funding commitments.

PRODUCTION: A survey of active filmmakers, writers, and producers (both for-profit and nonprofit) of documentary films and nonfiction programming:

  • Polling participants about current production funding methods to determine what improvements might be proposed; and
  • Polling participants about the kinds of obstacles and limitations they commonly encounter when seeking programming funding, with attention to how those obstacles might be mitigated. 

DISTRIBUTION: The study of existing distribution methods for documentary films and nonfiction programming, including:

  • Identifying the major television, theatrical, educational, foreign, government and ancillary distributors (internet, on-demand TV, DVD rentals and sales, etc.) and what viewership, markets and demographics they serve;
  • Assessing the current demand and potential future demand for programming for each type of distributor and market served;
  • Examining the business and financial models of existing distributors to evaluate their efficacy and deficiencies, and how a funding entity might better interface with their practices;
  • Examining the programming requirements, restrictions and limitations of each type of distribution method, with attention to how it effects content; and
  • Examining the relationships that distributors currently have with producers and funders, with attention to how that effects content.

FISCAL SPONSORSHIP: Nonprofit fiscal sponsor of the Documentary Project will be provided by Environmental Media Fund, Inc. (EMF), a non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation. Environmental Media Fund's Board of Directors has determined that sponsorship of the Documentary Project is consistent with furthering its charitable purposes. 

OTHER NOTES: Environmental Media Fund, Inc., the project's fiscal sponsor, maintains full discretion and control over any funds received for the project. As such, Environmental Media Fund, Inc. reserves the right to make changes that, in its sole opinion, insure the fulfillment of its charitable purposes. The successful completion of this project is contingent upon general funding available to EMF.

Copyright 2005 Environmental Media Fund, Inc. All Rights Reserved